Monday, 26 September 2011

The Social Network

After such a long introduction there can only be disappointing with what I have so say about the film The Social Network which was highly praised and nominated for Oscar awards but I resisted go to see in theatre because as I rightly suspected while the subject is of interest the film portrays a culture and life value system which is part of the economic disaster we are all now facing. My loyalty anyway is to MySpace and Google Blogs because of the emphasise on the ability to publish extensively and originally to be able to create substantial individual sites including photographs, music and writings.
Mark Zuckerberg is a remarkable young man, the technical brains of Facebook, now combining CEO and President of a company where he owns 24% of the shareholding and which has an income and value in the billions. His personal worth is said to be approaching 20 billion. The film does not portray him in a good personal light although it is has to be remembered that he was an undergraduate at Harvard at the time when he developed the idea which had been put to him by a trio of influential Harvard seniors. They eventually commenced a series of legal actions which only appear to have been brought to an end this year and where knowing a little about the legal costs of bringing law suits in the USA it appears they have been pursuing a principle and sense of injustice, rightly or wrongly.

This appears also to have been the position of Eduardo Saverin, a college roommate who took on the commercial side of the project development and who according to the film was nearly frozen out of the company after it moved to Silicon Valley and he remained in New York. He is a Brazilian from a wealthy family and is now based in Singapore with a personal fortune estimated to be about 5 billion dollars based on his 5% share holding. He is reported to have been the first financial backer of the Facebook having made $300000 on the stock market through investments in oil. Two others who helped to get the development started and developed are Dustin Moskovitz, report to have also become the youngest billionaire in the USA as he is younger than Mark by a few days. His role is barely covered in the film and he has developed other interests and companies.

The other key individual whose role is barely touched on in the film is that of Chris Hughes who became the spokesperson and who is more likely to be remembered by history because of his role in creating and developing the use of the Internet in getting Barack Obama to the White House. He is credited with changing political campaigning in the USA in a fundamental way. He also appears to have become to most socially activity of the quartet with a particular emphasis on HIV prevention and treatment. He was one of the few invited to the first Presidential State dinner.

The film concentrates more on the legal aspects than why the Facebook has been able to attract 500 million users worldwide and now has 2000 employees where MySpace having reached 1200 staff at one point has retracted to 200 and was recently sold for a fraction of the price originally paid to the founders. The Film is based on the book, The Accidental Billionaires-A Tale of sex, money, Genius and Betrayal. Translated to the small screen the sound is a major problem and requires to be turned up loud to hear some of the conversations although in the nightclub disco scene the sound is deliberately higher than the conversation to make the obvious point about the situation. I must write about My Space, the defunct AOL site and Google Blog sometime.

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